Working harder for barra
  |  First Published: June 2004

BIG tides, big winds and big barra were the order of the day last month. The big winds kept everybody at home, up a creek fishing the fresh or fishing out of Fishers Creek boat ramp where parking was at a premium most days.


The catch of the month goes to Mark ‘The Shark’ Joslin, who boated a 1.19m barra at One mile Creek (now the entrance to the Marina). This spot is still fishing well for land-based anglers, who are catching good barra up to 85cm on livies and dead baits, as well as jacks and cod. The beach behind the ‘Piecart’ is producing big barra on live prawns and mullet. My dentist Mario informed me (as he was hooking around in my mouth with a small gaff!) that he caught four legal size barra while walking the banks of the Herbert.

Meunga Creek is still fishing well, in the fresh as well as the estuary. Our local sportfisher (he fishes with an 80lb handline!) boated two nice barra of around 1m in front of a small feeder creek known affectionately as Sandfly Creek, using large live mullet at bait. Chris Jones and I fished the fresh in Meunga, with Chris landing some nice Barra to 70cm, plus small jacks, juvenile Barra, sooties and tarpon.

Missionary Bay is still fishing well, with plenty of nice grunter and jacks hooked on a variety of baits. For those in the know, live squid have been producing big fingermark at night, on secret spot 19! Some nice golden trevally and queenfish are still being caught off Gould Island. Look for the lumps on your sounder, as they will have fish hanging off them.


The southeast trade winds are well and truly with us, and usually pop up around noon. They can be a pain but at least they’re constant, and they usually dictate where to fish.

The big tides have also gone, making lure fishing a bit easier. We have good tides in June except for the neaps. Just lately I have found that the creek and estuary system in Benjamin Flats has been producing fish on the neaps, albeit a bit slow. When fishing the colder months it sometimes pays to work the snags a bit harder as barra are notoriously slow then. The theory is the cold weather makes them torpid and subsequently only eat about half what they normally eat. More casts per snag is the order of the day. Fish the flats at high tide and try some of the bigger creeks at low tide.

Grunter fishos should fish the Bay this month. It’s still producing nice fish, mainly on run-out tides. The best lures for us have been the silver Terminators, pink Flatratz and black and red Little Lucifers.

In closing, I’d like to ask all those who enjoy crabbing to please pick up their pots. After the holidays, when we have an influx of visitors, there are always a lot of abandoned pots – probably due to the weather being rough on the last day. Crabs die in these pots, more crabs swim in and the cycle goes on until the pot disintegrates. Bream and cod can also find their way in, so please do the right thing and pick your pots up!

Safe boating and I’ll see you on the water. And remember: ‘Fish for the future, practice catch and release’.

1) James Lamen and Ashley Dansie with a channel barra.

2) Chris Jones with a healthy freshwater barra.

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